Gaza Baptists report damage, severe shortages

Gaza Baptist Church, established by Southern Baptist missionaries in 1954, was rebuilt in 2006 to include a six-floor compound across the street from a Gaza police station in Gaza City. (File Photo)


Bombing in Gaza damaged the Baptist church there, and a church leader reported people in the region face continued food and water shortages.

“The Baptist church in Gaza has suffered damage from the recent bombings and will require resources to repair and rebuild,” the Baptist World Alliance reported in a weekly email prayer update Jan. 22.

BWA noted one of its newest member partners—the Council of Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, with about 1,000 members in 13 churches—has provided “livelihood support and food for more than 100 families living in the West Bank, as well as food and hygiene items for hundreds of families who had been sheltering in the Baptist church in Gaza.”

In the email newsletter, BWA asked Baptists worldwide to pray for all its member partners in the region, including the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel, with its 17 congregations.

“Join us as we intercede for peace to reign in the entire region. Join us also in prayer for the Lord’s protection and provision,” BWA stated.

Christians in Gaza report damage to their homes, as well as food and water shortages. (Photo / Christian Mission to Gaza)

Hanna Massad, former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, reported his nonprofit organization—Christian Mission to Gaza—also is providing winter clothing, food and financial support to people affected by the war in Gaza.

 “Just a few days ago, we prepared and delivered a total of 870 meals to people taking shelter in churches, ensuring that they do not go hungry in these difficult times,” Massad wrote in a Jan. 16 email newsletter to supporters of his ministry.

Christian Mission to Gaza also provided support to 100 Gaza families in the West Bank and offered aid to families from Gaza “who are stuck in hospitals in Jerusalem due to the war,” he noted.

Massad quoted a church leader in Gaza who provided a firsthand description of conditions there.

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“To describe the situation in Gaza, the word ‘catastrophe’ falls short, because life here has almost ceased to exist,” he wrote. “There is a severe shortage of food, water and electricity. Fear, worry and anxiety hang heavy in the air.”

Where food is available, prices have “skyrocketed,” making groceries unaffordable, he reported.

“Inside the churches, the situation is equally challenging,” he continued. “Privacy is scarce, and the food supply is limited. … The cold seeps in, and illnesses spread quickly among children, due to the harsh conditions. … Words alone cannot capture the gravity of this situation.”

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